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NXDN Encryption Question

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Res21cue

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This may sound like a silly question but...

I run a 10 radio operation on a NXDN Repeater system... myself and another supervisor want to have private conversations periodically so...

If I program channel 1 as the main channel and then program channel 2 the exact same way, but add an encryption key into only our 2 radios; other than tying up the channel, is there any way for us to be heard on the other 8 radios? Or will they just get the green/red activity light with no audio?
 

shmget

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That sounds right. The only way to be heard is if someone guesses the key and programs the radio. You will want to make sure that you don't put in the encryption key in the radios that are not going to have the private conversation, as even if you don't enable encryption on them, I believe the presence of the key will cause the radio to decrypt if certain options are set.

Even though the basic 15-bit NXDN encryption is weak from a crypto standpoint, I figure that with my business band usage of encryption, my usage of NXDN means just about everyone in the public won't be able to hear it to begin with (scanners are only just now coming out with it), and then the encryption pretty much means no one except those with lots of $$$ could get it.

One other thing: You don't have to program the repeater specially to use encryption. The only thing I've seen the repeater filter on is RAN code. Talkgroups and encryption are pass-through.
 

mmckenna

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You are correct.

If you just program the key into the two radios, and not the other 8, your conversations will not be overheard by the other radios.

You will tie up the channel, obviously.

However, there are a few settings you need to add to the non-encrypted radios that will make life easier for everyone:
1. Set Encryption Type to "Type 2" on ALL the radios.
2. Set up "Busy Channel Lockout" on the Channel Edit screen for all the radios. This will keep the other radios from accidentally transmitting over the top of you.

Setting Encryption Type to Type 2 will keep the other radios from hearing the garbled mess. The radios without encryption will mute the encrypted traffic and they won't know you guys are talking about them. If you don't set this, they'll hear the encrypted audio (will NOT decrypt it) and that'll get tiresome really quickly.
Another way to do this is to set up your RAN codes differently between the two channels. Your employees would have RAN 1 on their channel, and you and your other radio would be on a different RAN on channel 2 with the same frequency + encryption.
Setting the Busy Channel Lockout will keep the other 8 radios from accidentally keying up over the encrypted traffic, since they won't hear it, they'll have no way of knowing you are talking.

Do not program the keys into the other 8 radios. Even if you don't turn the encryption function on.

As for users guessing your encryption codes and programming them into the radios, I'd hope you'd have better control over your radios. If this really is a concern:
Go to the "Optional Features 1" page.
Select the "Common Page 1" tab.
At the bottom of that page is a button that says "Data Password".
Set up that data password for "Read Authorization Password" and "Overwrite Password".
Don't loose those passwords.
This will prevent someone from reading the radio with KPG-111 or overwriting the radios with KPG-111 if they don't have the code.
No reason your employees should be messing around with radio settings.
 

jhampton2000

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....other than tying up the channel, is there any way for us to be heard on the other 8 radios? Or will they just get the green/red activity light with no audio?
Good advice in the earlier posts re encryption setup. On your point about tying up the channel, and depending on your license arrangements, you may be able to setup a second private channel without tying up the primary one.....

I presume you only run the radios in voice and not voice+data mode, in which case you'll find setting the radios to Very Narrow (6.25khz bandwidth) mode vs Narrow Mode (12.5khz bandwidth) gives you better performance for reasons that have been detailed elsewhere on this forum. Many license holders have 12.5khz bandwidth to play with, but still use their NXDN radios in 6.25khz mode and therefore just use 6.25khz bandwidth. If you split the 12.5khz into two, run one channel 3.125khz offset down from the nominal center frequency and the other channel 3.125khz up from it, you can have two completely independent channels and no issues with your 12.5khz bandwidth license.
 

SCPD

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If you have a input you could use that using a different ran with the encryption. If you needed it for simplex close private comms. Not only would it be secure but not be on the same output others use in talk around.
 
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